- May 2019
alid or invalid on a priori ground*y Thus, de-pending on the problem, the laboratory may bean altogether appropriate setting for an investiga-tion and certain real-life environments may behighly inappropriate. Suppose, for example, oneis interested in studying the interaction betweenmother and child when the child is placed in astrange and unfamiliar situation. Clearly the lab-oratory approximates this condition far better thanthe home. Conversely, if the focus of inquiry isthe modal pattern of parent-child activity pre-vailing in the family, observations confined to thelaboratory can be misleading. As I have docu-mented elsewhere in greater detail (Bronfenbren-ner, in press), patterns of parent-child interactionin the laboratory are substantially and systemati-cally different than those in the home. Specifi-cally, so far as young children are concerned, theresults indicate that the strangeness of the labora-tory situation tends to increase anxiety and othernegative feeling states and to decrease manifesta-tions of social competence (Lamb, 1976b; Ross,Kagan, Zelazo, & Kotelchuck, 1975; Lamb, Note3). Possibly in response to this reaction of thechild, parents tend to exhibit more positive inter-i actions toward their children in the laboratory' than in the home (Schlieper, 1975; Shalock, 1956;Belsky, Note 4). In addition, Lamb (1976b;Note 3) reported that the tendency of the infantat home to display more affiliative behaviors (e.g.,looking, smiling, reaching, vocalizing) toward thefather than the mother was reversed in the labora-tory. Moreover, consistent with the arguments ofSroufe (1970) and Tulkin (1972) that the lab-oratory is especially likely to be an anxiety-arous-ing situation for lower-class families, Lamb foundsocioeconomic differences in father-infant inter-action favoring the middle class in the laboratory,'whereas such differences had not been present inI the h o m e.Again, the fact that
Since my Action Research is based on building relationships with the families from Room 3, I was interested to see the impact of laboratory research vs. home environment research. According to this paragraph, it is hard to get a clear picture of parent-child relationship in either setting due to a number of factors. If I understand it correctly, however the laboratory environment is less optimal to infants, young children and families of lower socio-economic status. Increased anxiety was cited as a contributing factor. I believe that the Hawthorne Effect could contribute to the difference is how parents responded positively to their children in the laboratory versus at home. So far, of the homes I have visited this semester, there is not a significant amount of difference between how the children are interacted with at school, compared to how they are interacted with at home. It will be interesting to see, based on what I've read in this paper, if what I have experienced recently will be evident with all of the families. I also wonder, if age and familiarity are factors? I work with one-year-olds and they have all developed a secure relationship, over time, with me, unlike the people who conducted this research. Any thoughts from others, is greatly appreciated, regarding whether or not you too experience what the article says or what I have experienced.